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|A Junior’s Story| Wife, Mom, Junior and Chopped Champion

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CCFCC Windsor Junior Melanie

Congratulations to our very own, CCFCC Windsor Junior Member Melanie!
She is a Chopped Canada Champion!
Melanie was featured on Chopped Canada’s Season 3, Episode 9 called: “Duelling Over Devilled Eggs”

You can watch it here.

Now to hear what Melanie had to say about this:

Melanie, where are you from?

I’m from a little town in Northern Ontario that literally has one corner store. I have lived in the country most of my life and have enjoyed every

minute of it. My favourite part is the peacefulness, space and I can have a vegetable garden as large as I want.

A little about yourself?

I always wanted to follow a career in policing, it seemed it was calling. However I have always loved food and cooking and gardening. It was in 2007 on my honeymoon to Kelowna, BC that changed my mind. I have thought about a career in cooking as well but never acted on it. It was on that trip that I fell in love with food. The culture of food and wine in Kelowna was inspiring and fresh. Something I had never experienced before. I made the decision then cooking was something I needed to follow.

How long have you been cooking and what inspired you to be a cook?

At 30 years old I returned to school in 2010, the Culinary Management program at Georgian College, Barrie Ontario. I have been working in professional kitchens now since 2011 so that’s  5 years now. I have loved every min of it. It was defiantly was I should have been doing 15 years ago but everything happens at the right time in your life. I was one of the first 4 jr chefs to participate in the Saputo Culinary Exchange program in 2012, which took me back to Kelowna, BC it’s like the universe was telling me this is your path. Going back there and working in the kitchens we dined at on our Honeymoon was something I never thought possible. If I didn’t go back to school when I did it may not have happened. Funny how life works out.

Why did your apply to be on Chopped Canada?

I have competed in the CCFCC junior provincial competition, competed twice in the Barry Callebeaut Chocolate Competition in College and have always thought you need to push your self into uncomfortable to learn and grow. This was another one of those moments. My former Chef had competed on the show in season 2 and I thought why not, I have nothing to loose and could gain so much from the experience. So I said do it, it’s a challenge and win or loose you will learn something.

In one word, describe your experience on the show? Validating.  When you change careers at my age, you always wonder if your doing the right thing. Hearing Chef Antonio Park say “keep on cooking, keep on rocking” at the end of the chopped episode was amazing, validating I was doing the right thing!

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If you could do it over again, any changes?

No I don’t think so. I’m a pretty calm person that can react quickly. There’s always technical things I may have changed do to the world of Tv and filming but overall no, oh maybe not try and set the kitchen on fire but that was for the fun of the show! Lol

Life after the show?

It takes so long for the show to air, almost 8 months since filming. I really wanted to focus on a catering business but then had a surprise and found out we were expecting our second child after the show. So now I’m just taking it day by day and hope I can get the business going soon. Just like everything else, it will work

Out when it’s supposed to.

Advice to those who are considering to compete?

Never think you can’t do something, you will never know unless you try. Every time you challenge yourself it will help you grow. If it’s not a successful outcome that’s ok too. Just take what you learned and improve. That’s the thing about this field there’s always something to learn and it will never change.

If you have any questions for Melanie, please feel free to email her at here
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